Heising Simons Foundation

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In today’s media environment, freelance journalists face the reality of being both vulnerable and valuable. With newsrooms facing ongoing cuts, many journalists work without the support of an institutions—and the resources they provide. And yet, some of the most important works of journalism come from freelance journalists who dedicate long periods of time and resources to their subjects. That why Mission Partners was thrilled when we were asked to support the Heising-Simons Foundation with the launch of its inaugural American Mosaic Journalism Prize, intended to call attention to these journalists’ great promise and give them the freedom to continue their work. The Prize offers up to two $100,000 unrestricted cash prizes per year to freelance journalists for their excellence in long-form, narrative, or deep reporting on stories about underrepresented and/or misrepresented groups in the present American landscape. Mission Partners developed core messaging, a communications strategy, and media materials to announce and elevate the inaugural winners of the 2018 prize—Jaeah Lee and Valeria Fernández. Over the course of the 2-month campaign our efforts resulted in 35 earned media stories, including an Associated Press story picked up in outlets across the country, and 286 million media impressions.